When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. (NIV) Genesis 37:4
Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other 11 sons. Out of love he made a richly ornamented robe for Joseph. But, when his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. The hate grew. After Joseph told his brothers about a dream he had, they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. On top of the hate, his brothers were jealous of him and they plotted to kill him.
When Joseph came to his brothers in the desert, they stripped him of his richly ornamented robe he was wearing and they took him and threw him into the cistern and sold him as a slave to Midianite merchants that came by. Eventually the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials.
Imagine what life was like for 17 year old Joseph. His own flesh and blood hated him so intensely that they plotted to kill him. He was rejected by his own family members. Have you experienced being hated. . . shunned. . . betrayed. . .rejected by a family member or close friend or colleague or church member? If so, you know how much it hurts. You know how uncomfortable family gatherings can be. You know the emptiness it leaves in your life. You know the tears you have shed.
Jesus understands your pain.
- He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. (NIV) John 1:11
- He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. (NIV) John 3:32
His own disciples rejected Him and ran away at the time of His death. He told His disciples just prior to His death: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:18; 20)
When those closest to you reject you, betray you, shun you or hate you, remember, Jesus understands. Run to Him to find comfort, healing, and protection. And know that you are chosen and very precious to the Father and Son!
As you come to him, the living Stone– rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him– (NIV) 1 Peter 2:4